Philips Dot review:

This inexpensive speaker survives water and shock

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The Good The affordable Philips Dot has a rugged, modern design and is both water and shock resistant. It's equipped with a speakerphone, has a built-in rechargeable battery, and can be stood up vertically and positioned at an angle. It also has an auto sensor that allows you to pause your music by flipping the speaker on its head.

The Bad Can have a harsh edge at higher volumes and doesn't sound as good as some smaller speakers.

The Bottom Line It may not deliver fantastic sound, but the Philips Dot has a unique look and is both water- and shock-resistant.

CNET Editors' Rating

6.9 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Sound 6.0
  • Value 7.0

Philips makes a number of portable Bluetooth wireless speakers, including the popular SoundShooter Wireless, but its Dot speaker, which also goes by the model number SB2000, is arguably the company's most uncommon-looking one.

Bowl-shaped and ribbed, the Dot can be stood up vertically or propped up at an angle, and when you flip the speaker over, your music will automatically pause. Philips bills it as being both water- and shock-resistant, so it's suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. A loop on its base allows you to hang it from a hook.

Available in multiple color options, the Dot ($50 online), fits in well with more modern decors and has a bit of an Ikea or Target look to it (and I mean that in a positive way). I liked it overall, but I thought its sound could have been a little better for its size.

Design and features

Unlike Philips' flatter BT3500 and BT2500 speakers, this portable model isn't designed to be slipped into a bag. At 1.257 pounds, it's got a bit of heft to it for a mini speaker, though it's certainly not heavy. I see people using it indoors (say in the kitchen or a kid's room) and then bringing it out to the patio or pool.

As far as features go, beyond the aforementioned "auto-sensing" flip-to-pause feature (it can be turned on and off), there's a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls.

This is a Bluetooth 2.1 speaker -- it's compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and tablets -- and has an Micro-USB port that doubles as an audio input with an included cable (the USB is hidden by a removable rubber gasket, which keeps the port from getting wet in the event the speaker gets spritzed).

philips-dot-product-photos03.jpg
The Dot standing upright with the speaker firing straight up. Sarah Tew/CNET

On the top of the speaker you'll find a power button and volume controls along with a call/answer end button (they're all sealed off and rubberized). However, there's no pause/play button or transport controls -- you have to control music playback through your smartphone or tablet.

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